Blog: Olly WehringDrinks acquisitions - the companies punching above their weight

Olly Wehring | 7 December 2006

Takeover speculation often centres on the larger firms - and bigger brands - in the drinks industry. Think of the rumours surrounding Rémy Cointreau, Whyte & Mackay and Absolut vodka - to name just a few.

But it’s important not to forget that, in a consolidating drinks industry, there are a number of aggressive and ambitious smaller players who are desperate to grow and are eyeing up potential targets week in, week out.

The Patrón Spirits Company - makers of the booming super-premium Tequila Patrón - recently told just-drinks that it is set to move into the vodka and gin categories.

And it was interesting to see Californian wine producer 360 Global Wine Co. announce yesterday (5 December) that it has made initial moves to secure an unnamed US-based wine and spirits group for US$25m.

360 Global, not necessarily one of the sector’s heavyweights, is keen to expand the reach of its flagship wine label Cucina Viansa across the US - and is ready to get out the chequebook to do so.

CEO Jake Shapiro told just-drinks: “360 Global Wine is by definition a growing company and we see growth through acquisitions as well as through organic development.”

Last week, Blavod Extreme Spirits said it has received an initial takeover approach from a company listed on the NASDAQ. The announcement from 360 Global, which has some of its shares listed on the NASDAQ, led to some in the industry adding two and two together.

Although Shapiro declined to name 360 Global’s target, he did say that the company is based in the US. Blavod, the producer of brands including Blavod black vodka and Players Extreme flavoured vodkas, is based in London.


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